Greywacke Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 2020, New Zealand
Greywacke was created in 2009 by Kevin Judd, the person responsible for the ground-breaking early wines produced in Marlborough, including at Cloudy Bay. The name 'Greywacke' was adopted by Kevin for his first Marlborough vineyard, located in Rapaura, in recognition of the prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the vineyard's soils.
This is an outstanding example of the Marlborough SB style - ripe fruit driven with a good level of flavour complexity, textural mouthfeel and a refreshing acidity.
Fruit was sourced from prime vineyards in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains (specifically Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura). Soil types vary from the young alluvial soils of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of New Zealand’s ubiquitous greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys. Most of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on a two- or three-cane vertical shoot positioning trellis.
Overall 2020 was slightly warmer than average and delivered superb quality across all varieties. The season had a nervous start with some frost in early October, but the rest of spring saw typical conditions. Weather through flowering was settled and fruit set was very good. December saw significant rainfall, but this was followed by the driest period in nearly eighty years. After the extremely dry and sunny summer the weather during the ripening period cooled, extending the growing season and producing near perfect conditions to achieve ripe fruit whilst retaining excellent intensity and acidity. On 24th March New Zealand entered lockdown due to Covid-19. Fortunately the team were able to work as a big family isolation bubble, and despite the uncertain beginnings the harvest functioned efficiently, in the face of very challenging circumstances.
Harvested largely by machine during cool (often cold) night-time conditions, the grapes were trucked to the Greywacke winery in the Omaka Valley, where they were lightly pressed to yield a modest volume of high-quality juice. The juice was then cold-settled and racked prior to fermentation, primarily using cultured yeast in stainless steel for cool, slow fermentation. A portion of the juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation in old oak barrels. All vineyard batches were left on lees and kept separate until late July, when the blend was assembled. The wine was bottled in mid-August 2020.
This classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc shows vibrant, tropical fruit and lively acidity. Yellow- fleshed peaches, rock melon and blackcurrant alongside lemon icing, chamomile and hints of rose petal – this is a delicately perfumed and deliciously ripe-fruited interpretation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
The palate is both subtle and textural, showing considerable ripeness and concentration, with a crisp and long, juicy finish.
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
What the critics say:
This is a youthful yet mellifluous expression of Sauvignon Blanc with a line of tension that gives it length and purpose. Citrus, elderflower and grassy notes infuse the svelte midpalate. The finish is crisp, clean and full of adolescent vigor. Rebecca Gibb MW, vinous.com, November 2020 - 91 points